Bedknobs & Dreamscapes

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So, I’ve had some bad dreams of late. Well, they weren’t that bad. They might count as “nightmares,” but they’ve wound up arousing my curiosity more. It’s not even the content of the dreams that gets my attention so much as the perspective-driven mechanisms I’m seeing coming through them. Trigger warning, though: suggestions of abduction, abuse, molestation, and rape in dream contexts do come up.

I’ve been following along with the Q1 2019 Rune Soup course on Ancestors and the Dead, and as I’ve been getting a deepening connection with my “spirit team” (or “helping spirits” or however you want to call them)—well, as I’ve been opening up or have started paying attention to them, I think I’ve also been getting attention from the locals, including the opportunists in the area.

Okay, edited dream descriptions coming up. Note, I’m not going to be doing any real “dream interpretation” in the usual sense—that’s not what this post is about. I’m more interested in how dream interactions with outsiders have been going, especially in terms of how it’s seemed to work.

Preamble

Now, before I dive into the individual dreams, I do want to offer some context. I do some basic warding and protection. After my planetary prayers earlier in the day, I will typically do a Cyprianic protection prayer, and I will do some version of St. Patrick’s breastplate. I also will touch base with the spirit team. I’ve got some other tech in the house itself. And before bed, I will typically do an impromptu prayer to a couple of folks to aid in dream work that includes protective elements. I take a decent dose of melatonin, too, and I have done so for a while. Although I’ve experimented with some nootropics for dreaming on occasion, I don’t usually bother as they just tend to be pricey and to have rapidly diminishing returns. I have started, as I remember to do so, doing the Cyprianic protection prayers before bed, too.

I also try to journal my dreams every day—including the ones that don’t immediately seem interesting or noteworthy. And while my dream recall can vary from day to day based on how I wake up and how much sleep I got, I have gotten into the habit of noting something about any night’s dreaming every day. Furthermore, I’ve begun noticing that many dreams that seemed not very interesting while half-asleep and while waking up became far clearer in their importance once I started writing them down.

I have to say that, since December 2018, I have seen a radical shift in my dreaming. I have gone from a lifetime of mediocre dreaming, wandering through seemingly endless institutional, mazelike corridors filled with banality, never really flying or even being able to defend myself in dreams (punching and kicking with the power of a wet noodle—having to make my own pewpew noises with dream-guns and dream-swords turning into, well, wet noodles, too) to more flying dreams than I’ve ever had, to having super-strength on multiple occasions, and more.

This has been fantastic. Sometimes a bit concerning for how quickly the recourse to, ahem, dream violence can come. (Oh, I need to win this soccer/football game? I’ll just run along and break every other player’s legs with a slap…)

I also want to note that, after a suggestion from Chiron Armand, I’m also trying to get in better with my spirit of the home and the more immediately local place spirits and country—this strikes me as probably one of the best approaches to making sure spirit interaction at the local level goes more in your favor. I mean, I had been trying to do so, but after his initial suggestion, I found he actually shared some specific, easily adapted tech that I’ve been trying. In fact, I think the most recent dream comes out of trying to get in better with the spirits of place and attracting other attention, too.

Dream Skeeves: The First

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The pizza described in this dream narrative is about as done as this one is. (Photo by Vinicius Benedit on Pexels.com)

Anyway, the dreams. In the first dream, I had arrived at a pizza joint with folks I knew. However, service was horrible, and as I reflected on it after the fact, interactions in the dream were arranged to try to keep me inside as long as possible—indeed, to keep me locked up inside the supposed pizza joint. The dream-cashier was absolutely useless, and as I started to complain, she wandered off, and no one came to replace her. I moved to leave, and “customers” got in my way just enough that I was traffic-managed in particular directions. I approached what I thought was the exit—to what even seemed at first glance a door or doorway, but rather than going through a door or even having a scene transition, I hit a literal wall.

At the time, this was quite jarring. It felt like walking right into a wall would, and I felt even some initial confusion that this wasn’t a door—indeed, what had looked like a door had a vaguely entryway shape to it.

The dream did shift some to a near-hypnogogic state where I hadn’t actually gone far—indeed, in a way, I think I was still in the de facto cul de sac I’d been guided into by the supposed “customers”—but now I was lying down as some being posed as someone I trust and like who was supposedly doing “foot massages” as part of an experiment, but the foot massage became more a pulling on one of my big toes.

Now, while I was still ostensibly in the “pizza joint,”[1] I was also half-aware that I was lying in bed and someone was actually pulling on my toe. The dream being who was pretending to be my friend then moved to touch someplace entirely inappropriate, and Dream!Me said Nope, and I woke up. I immediately recognized that my toe had indeed been pulled—although not explicitly painful, it had been and was on awakening quite uncomfortable. The foot had been partly off the side of the bed, and I half-remember reading about a class of spirits who, well, pull on toes while you sleep. The incubis associations also came to mind. I deployed some prayer tech to spiritually flashbang the room before eventually going back to bed.

I recognized that the entire dream in the pizza joint had been purposely contrived to lure me in, keep me there, and take advantage of me. The solidity of the wall seemed strange—I had even thought, to myself in the dream, shouldn’t there be a transition to another dream? The fakeness of the exit door/passage also struck me as, well, on looking at it after hitting the wall, it was obvious, but it had seemed door-enough before hand. I had noted in the dream the side-eye glances at me from the “customers” who got in my way, their intentional (or at least not smooth-enough not to stand out) movements and my desire to avoid bumping into them that had guided me into the cul de sac. And the choosing of someone I trusted as a façade to wear to get me into a vulnerable position was obvious after the fact, as well.

I also found myself wondering about the sanctity of the bed and covers. My foot had been dangling slightly off the edge of the bed, maybe even just the toe. I mean, we’ve all heard the logic of stay on the bed, stay under the covers, and the monsters can’t get you, and I wondered how much that—I don’t want to say belief, but I’ll say motif—that motif has validity.

Once I woke up for real, I did some additional cleansing and protective work. It was a few days until I had the second dream.

Dream Skeeves: The Second

In this dream, I was at some doctor’s office and by myself, finding some medicine that I apparently wanted. I went to take it and to find my way out of the office, and I moved around and down a hall, only to come to a doorway with an old man standing there. Something wasn’t right about the man. His lips were cracked, chapped, and blue. He told me that I’d need to head out through the entryway and pointed towards it while blocking the way I had been going. I turned to go that way, seeing what looked like a door well enough. However, as I was moving there through another room, the ceiling’s headroom dropped to the point that I had to crouch. Beyond the door, I saw what was not the actual exit but a cubby hole with a small dark rectangular hole going who knows where. I caught a glimpse of the old man trying to come up behind me in this small chamber, and Dream!Me again went Nope and woke up.

After doing some similar cleansing and banishing tech—and some extra that night before going to sleep again—I immediately recognized the recurring motifs. Indeed, I recognized the recurring techniques these dream beings were trying to use: the use of a false door and a confined—indeed, even more confined—space within which I’d be trapped and at the being’s mercy.

I shared the dream with a friend who noted the medicine was an interesting element, and she also pointed to the recurring motifs of blocked paths. I’m good enough at journeying that I went back into the dream to see what I could learn about the medicine—was it something I needed, some heroic journey kind of thing to find and recover—but the medicine was a decoy, a lure. Indeed, the entire place in the dream was more façade and a complicated but cheap-looking trap. A box to lure me into.

Dream Skeeves: The Third

This dream was by far the most entailed, but even within it, I found myself noting—being mindful—at several points. It began with me watching an Asian “Agent Mulder” (of The X-Files) with some version of Agent Scully driving about farmlands when “Mulder” vanishes from the car they’re in. He reappears nude in a wheat field. The dream shifts to me in an office. Students are working in pairs on papers at nearby tables, and I am working on some Shakespeare paper, even as I noted I had a hard time spelling his name correctly as I worked on the cover page for my paper. (Which was obviously some kind of tell, too, given how often I ever made cover pages for papers—never.)

A man comes out of another office, and he was talking to another man “off-screen.” I say “off-screen” here because that’s how it was, in a way, and something seemed off about what I was seeing. He was looking into supposedly another “office,” but it seemed more “off-screen.” The dream had taken on some very loose Twin Peaks (you can tell my ‘90s television watching habits) elements—he very much reminded me of a Sheriff’s Deputy in Twin Peaks, and I was another deputy. Some drama is going on in the office, and I get upset enough to turn in my badge and quit.

I leave, and I am quickly someplace else—two women have lured me to some site they’ve found. I see strange shapes (or faces) in the landscape, and I’m led down some stairs towards a chamber they’ve discovered. As I’m coming down the stairs behind them, I glimpse a man—looking very much like the man from the earlier scene—coming behind me, but he’s gone. And I’m absolutely convinced he’s still there. I know he’s present. I put my back against the wall: he’s invisible or something. I stab at the space to my left in the hopes of catching him. However, the women get my attention to show me the “Black Lodge”-ish place they’ve found.

There’s a chamber with a floor with “magical” symbols on it that glow slightly. The floor is partly exposed, but it is mostly obscured by rough rock. The symbols are…pretty banal. A pentagram. Other star-like shapes. One of the women is sitting on the rough stone in a meditative posture, and I question their ritual hygiene and the simplicity of the symbols. Soon, I notice unusual forms in the shadows beyond this chamber—on the platform above, up the stairs in a larger, dark chamber. The rather boxy area I’m in shifts some, so there’s also a shadowy area to my left now.

Apparently, some “cult” once operated here and sacrificed themselves and their followers. I see their ritual remains—vague shadowed forms of legs wearing boots, upside down and sticking up out of big stone blocks with mummified remains and more. However, it’s all very vague visually, more suggestive than substantive. Part of me wonders immediately about how weird (but not wyrd) and how silly these things are. The shadows are deep, though.

As I look towards the remains to my left, now almost entirely obscured by darkness, I suddenly see a flicker of light. It signals to me that something’s there. I grow worried, and I try to shine one of my lights over there, but the battery’s dead. I try another with the same results. One of the women shines her very dim, indeed quickly dead, light at the spot, and I don’t really see anything, but she breathlessly shouts about how the light caused the corpses to begin dissolving—that’s how evil they were, I guess?

I notice that I’m starting to do that voiceless scream thing that you do in dreams. Whatever light had been present goes away. I feel a presence to my left, then to my right, then I think behind me. I am still silently screaming as I wake up.

I stumble about a bit after waking up, do the usual prayer tech (which does quite a bit to dispel the immediate sense of doom and presence) because, especially given the skulking presence of the man on the stairwell, I know someone was doing some shit. I get back in bed and turn over after noting it’s just after dawn. I call in my primary guide on my spirit team, and I half-journey/half-dream back into the dream. I don’t want to forget it because I’m recognizing what seem like very much the same motifs from the first two I’ve described here.

I see the shadowy place again, and I can’t illuminate the darkness myself, but my guide can and does so easily and brightly. And I see it’s all just a narrow, confined cubicle space I’d been lured into and trapped in, like I’d been trapped in some bad puppet theater. A box to trap me in to feed off the fear. Instead of the abuse motifs in the previous dreams, whoever this was decided to go for evil weird shit in the dark.

Musings

Now, I’d said I’d been noting things. I’d noted my thoughts in the dream about how I critiqued and analyzed what I was seeing. And it seemed to me that my notings, my mindful responses, well, it seemed like I was responding on some level to being “told” something was scary. Like I was being told “scary scary scary,” much as Mike Clelland has pointed to beings (looking like grey aliens) mentally repeating “owl” at observers as part of whatever means they used to seem like an owl, for screen memory purposes.

I also did wonder, as I was screaming, Why am I screaming? What’s over there? What’s behind me?” even as it was like I was being told “scary scary scary.” And the theatrics—

Well, these dreams have me wondering about perspectivist tricks to lure people into traps, much like we’ll have decoys to lure prey (like I was) into traps. I also find myself wondering about how many other “scary” dreams I’ve had—especially dreams with similar “evil darkness” motifs—are this kind of puppet or shadow theater. Just like a magician might dress like Solomon to play on a spirit’s perspective, and just like another might wear a spirit mask when dealing with a spirit, I find these dreams very interesting for considering how the other side uses much the same tricks with us.

I also find it interesting to think with a similar perspectivist lens when considering political and social shadow theater, let alone for considering how substantive some of the things I think I know or believe actually are.

Note, though, that I’m not saying all dream and spirit interactions are like this. I’ve had plenty of dreams and journeying experiences which very much have archetypal power and significance. I have plenty of dreams that have plenty of real personal significance and point to my own (Jungian-style) shadow work.

Those’re real, and they can stand the pressure of my attention. They grow deeper and unfold from my attention. These dreams don’t.

Meanwhile, I’m not immediately concerned about these dreams. Though this last dream was the most immediately “scary,” it was cheap theater and tricks. The similarity with UFO and fairy encounter screen memories and strangeness—as well as the cheap theatrics—make me wonder if wandering spirits, ghosts, or whoever else has learned how to pull enough of these tricks to feed on easy marks. Seriously, I’ve seen and heard about enough “wandering adventuring parties” and odd loners in the imaginal that I’m imagining some assholes figured out some cheap invisibility and thought-screening tricks. I do wonder how filling my “screams” were even as I was also asking myself, “Er, why am I screaming?”

I mean, it tells me to work on my house warding and dreamwork hygiene some more, and I’m also probably attracting more attention these days. Indeed, I’m surprised it took this long. I think back to the last time I had to deal with things like this on a routine basis, and I remember how much I took these dream encounters so seriously and thus amplified whoever was fucking with me at the time. In comparison, I’m looking at these dreams and seeing how they’re trying to manipulate me and how their techniques seem to work. And I have to say, bring it.

Featured Image: Arthur Rackham, A Young Girl Chased by Phantoms (1905)

[1] How bad was the pizza? The cashier put down a small, personal pizza with some cooked pizza dough, a dry smudging of marinara, and a single slice of pepperoni. Even in the dream, I was appalled.

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